- First of all, I don't know if I've actually mentioned it here yet, but Dawgbone is back with a vengeance. Make sure you stop by there at least once a day...it is the one-stop shop for all Dawg updates. New address is http://www.thedawgbone.com/, so update your bookmarks accordingly.
I also would like to thank them for adding me to their blogroll and updates...after consistently seeing about 50 visitors a day for as long as I have been tracking, my visits jumped to 400 yesterday. So welcome to any new readers....hopefully you will be entertained by my ramblings and rantings enough to stick around.
- FINALLY the offseason is over, as practice officially starts today. There are several great reads from the usual suspects as to what to expect as practice starts....feel free to peruse the links to your right, being careful to avoid my geektastic TV tastes.
(Although, guys, I might suggest checking out Shan's latest contribution...they just don't make secretaries like they used to)
- And now that the offseason is over, I can finally talk about how smooth an offseason it was without feeling like I might jinx it. Not a single arrest and every recruit except for one is on campus and starting practice today. The players and coaches are all saying the right things, demonstrating both a team-first attitude and a general sense of being wholly unsatisfied with last year's results. There's no overwhelming preseason hype this year to distract both players and the fanbase.
All in all, I think things may be setting up for a very special season. I am most excited to see what Joe Cox is going to do with his opportunity. I have been a huge supporter of Matt Stafford, but I am already more of a FAN of Joe Cox. I love the guy's attitude, his swagger, how much he obviously loves to be a Bulldog. Check out this pic, my favorite one of The Celebration...look how pumped up he is, and this is when he knows there is almost no chance of him even being able to see one snap on the field:
And I think people forget that when he came out of Independence High in Charlotte (as an undefeated quarterback, by the way) he was the #7 rated pro style quarterback in the country, according to Rivals. He has skills...not the off-the-chart tools that Stafford has, but he's not Tereshinski, either. I think he will at least be able to throw an out pattern.
And another thing...I think his skill set actually sets up BETTER for Mike Bobo's offensive philosophy. Think about what kind of quarterback Bobo was...accurate passer, good decision maker. Wasn't asked to do too much other than put the ball in the hands of his playmakers in a position where they can make plays. If Bobo can just design an offense around Cox's skillset the way Donnan did with him in '97, I think our offense can be very effective.
- It's always a conundrum for me once fall camp starts...I'm jonesing for news and I can't wait to start getting practice reports, but I'm also terrified to read any news. You almost never get any really GOOD news out of training camp. Only thing I want to read is that there are no injuries, and the execution looks sharp.
- And now for the Braves post mortem....stick a fork in this team, they are dead. At least they stayed relatively competitive until football practice started.
I don't think this team is far away from being a real contender. I think the offseason focus should be to bring one more big bat to the lineup...I think that was truly all we were missing this year. The pitching has been great, for the most part, and there are a lot of good hitters in the lineup. There was just nobody who provided any consistent power, nobody in the lineup who scared the opposition.
Hopefully, Wren will be given the financial support necessary to make one big move...I would love for the Braves to be a contender at least one more time before Chipper rides off into the sunset.
All right, that's all I got for now...I'm going to be really quiet this afternoon, hoping to hear the sounds of pads popping, coaches yelling, and players puking. Ahhh...the sounds of the first day of practice.